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Namibian Premiere of the award winning Egyptian film „678“, SAT, 25 May 2013 at 6 pm, Goethe-Centre Windhoek

On Saturday, 25 May 2013 at 6 pm AfricAvenir invites to the Namibian Premiere of the award winning Egyptian film „678“ at Goethe-Centre Windhoek. “678” is the hauntingly real story of three women and their search for justice from the daily plight of sexual harassment in Egypt. When one of the women resorts to stabbing harassers in the groin, she becomes a phantasmal hero that causes a nationwide stir. The film provides a comprehensive assessment of the cause and effect of this social epidemic, demonstrating the fatal consequences of silence and furthermore the acceptance of denial as a solution, while revealing an intriguingly raw side of Egypt that the world has barely seen.

Even though the movie “678” is by now over two years old it keeps drawing attention worldwide. “678” was the directorial debut of Mohamed Diab and is the first film to address the rampant sexual harassment that women face on the streets of Cairo every day. “678” (sometimes also titled “Cairo 678”) is a blunt but powerful portrait of three women of varying social backgrounds rebelling against the sexual harassment endemic to that country’s culture. 

The screening will be followed by a discussion with the director of Sister Namibia, Laura Sasman. The screening is made possible through the financial support by the FNB Foundation

Synopsis
It may be a taboo subject but the simple fact is that incidences of sexual harassment in Egypt are on the rise. In this bold and frank film, we witness a number of perspectives on the matter, through the eyes of three women drawn from across Cairo's complex social hierarchy. Fayza is a traditionally-minded mother, in search of justice. Seba is a wealthy jewelry designer, recovering from a vicious gang assault. Nelly, an aspiring stand-up comic draws national outrage for daring to file a sexual harassment lawsuit. The film follows this trio as, frustrated by the lackadaisical response from authorities, they decide to take the law into their own hands and begin exacting violent revenge on men foolish enough to try and harass them.

Prizes
Winner Best Narrative Feature award (including $100,000 prize-money), Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis, USA

Winner Audience Choice Award 9th Festival Cine de Africa, FCAT, Cordoba, Spain, 2012

Winner Muhr Arab category, Best Actress Award for Bushra, Dubai Film Festival, 2010

A film and its story
Even though the movie 678 is by now over two years old it keeps drawing attention and this weekend the film received two prizes in the international festivals. The visitors of the African Film Festival of Cordoba Spain honoured 678 with the Audience Award and two days later director Mohamed Diab received the Best Narrative Feature award and $100,000 when his film won the Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis in the US.

When the film first came out protests were lodged against it by singer Tamer Hosny, who objected to one of his songs being used in the film. There was also an attempt by an attorney to stop the film from being included in the Dubai Film Festival because it portrayed Egypt in an unfavourable light. Claims were made as well by the Association for Human Rights and Social Justice that the film would encourage women to attack their harassers as shown in the film, but the Diab and his team managed to withstand the controversy and the film became a success in the Egyptian cinemas. The success in Egypt was followed by a huge success in France, with more than hundred cinemas screening the film.

Press and comments
A gift to all women.” - Christiane Taubira, French Minister of Justice

A gripping feature film” – The New Yorker

678 can be unsettling at times but it’s never uncomfortable. It doesn’t reach for an easy resolution or provide the answers. Rather than pointing a finger or looking for someone to blame, 678 takes a introspective look at a society plagued with contradictions and self-conflict, then the film invites its audience to take a second look around.” - Cairo 360

”678” is a worthwhile exploration of the daily plight of the Egyptian woman, a struggle that goes mostly unnoticed by anyone but the victim.” – Egyptian Independent

Uprising of women against gropers and rapists. Crime thriller and social analysis at the same time”  - Die Zeit

Reflecting a broader Arab desire for personal empowerment and dignity“ - New Directors/New Films

Director
Mohamed Diab is one of the most prominent screenwriters in Egypt. Diab comes from the city of Ismailia. He attended the New York Film Academy in 2005 and then wrote the following films:

Real Dreams (Ahlam Hakekeya, 2007), a thriller about a mother’s inability to draw the line between her reality and her dreams.

The Island (El Gezira, 2007), a blockbuster success, starring Ahmed El Sakka, and based on a true story of a ruthless drug lord in the Southern region of Egypt. The film penetrated pop culture and is commonly quoted to this day. 

The Replacement (Badal Faed, 2009), a story about the fate of twin boys separated at birth and adopted by very different families.

Congratulations (Alf Mabrouk, 2009), co-written with his brother Khaled Diab, starring one of the top actors in the Middle East, Ahmed Helmy.

678 is his fifth film he has written. It is his directorial debut. 

I made this film to break the silence of women,” said Mohamed Diab. “The short term solution for sexual harassment is that women should not feel ashamed when they get harassed and they should speak out.”

Some people will think I am humiliating Egyptian men, but this is not true; I am humiliating those who commit sexual harassment,” said Diab. “This film will stir a debate, I am sure that I will be severely criticized for it and some people are already sharpening their teeth to attack me with the rhetorical accusation of distorting Egypt’s image.”

Furhter Details
New Century Productions

Cast: Nelly Karim, Bushra, Maged El Kedwany, Ahmed El Fishawy, Bassem Samra, Sawsan Badr, Nahed El Sebai, Omar El Saeed, Yara Gobran, Ibrahim Salah, Moataz El Demrdash

Director/screenwriter: Mohamed DiabProducer: Bushra RozzaDirector of photography: Ahmed GabrEditor: Amr Salah El dinMusic: Hany AdelProduction designer: Ali HosamCostume designer: Malak Zo El FakarLength: 103 min

In 2013 the film series African Perspectives is supported by the Finnish Embassy in Windhoek, FNB Foundation, WhatsOnWindhoek, and the Goethe-Centre Windhoek.

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